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Latchman’s hot streak


Latchman’s hot streak

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THE HOTTEST news in horse racing these days at the Garrison Savannah is not that of outstanding horses but rather the form of jockey Reshawn Latchman.
Since he suffered a broken leg – the result of fall astride Cavanak on April 20 last year – he has returned to the steel with a very high level of intensity that was not seen before.
At the end of Saturday’s running of the Realtors Limited Race Day, the second day of the new season, he had landed eight impressive winners – five on the first day, and three more last weekend.
On Saturday, he made it back-to-back wins on Sugar Loaf Peak and Janak’s Gold before icing the cake with Iamsogroovy, who won the Palm Beach Condominium Trophy Handicap for horses rated 80-100  over 1 100 metres.
In the six race days since his return, Latchman has notched up statistics of 38 rides – 11 wins, three seconds, four thirds and six fourth-place finishes for a win percentage of 29.
The 2012 champion rider was given the all-clear by his physician late in the second season last year but decided to resume his career at the start of the final season.
Latchman endured mixed feelings on the first day of the third season, November 16, Jockey’s Challenge Race Day featuring a visiting team from Britain and Ireland.
The local side, minus the defending champ “Latchie” was led by eventual champion rider Anderson Trotman. All the while there were some fans who felt Latchman should have been granted a place on the side.
Call it coincidence, but his first ride back around the race track was on Cavanak but that afternoon he returned a blank sheet.
December 17 would be the breakthrough day as Latchman masterminded In The Pink to a memorable win in the Grade I featured W.C. “Bill” Marshall DFC SCM Memorial Two-Year-Old Creole Classic Stakes & Trophy over 1 570 metres.
Over the years during his brief career he has been quickly harnessing his talent. The small-framed, lightweight lad’s main attribute is his ability to quickly assess race situations.
This is complemented by his all-round ability, noticeably a good seat, nice pair of hands, keen ears and a hunger for success.
While Latchman’s talent is still being developed at home, stints at Woodbine Racetrack in Canada and the odd short trips across to Martinique on the weekends in between our race days have been instrumental in his rejuvenation.
That double victory on December 7 served as a signal of what was to come from the retained rider for owners Bill and Haley Blevins.
Latchman started 2014 brightly by confidently slamming home five very good winners: Margarita, Janak’s Gold, Pyroman, Whatadeal and Sugar Loaf Peak.
This begs the question. Is he ready to separate himself from the boys and become Barbados’ next top celebrated jockey?